War vets back army
By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
HARARE – Veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle have backed the military’s intervention in the political affairs of the country saying the move was necessary in restoring constitutionalism, law and order and humanism in the country.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA), Victor Matemadanda insisted that the actions by the military did not amount to a military take over.
“We applaud the gallant role taken by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in defence of Zimbabwe’s constitution to normalise the situation within ZANU-PF,” said Matemadanda.
Matemadanda called for the reinstatement of all party cadres suspended or expelled at the instigation of the party’s national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, soon after ZANU-PF’s 2014 National People’s Congress.
The war veterans’ leader said it was of concern to them that the majority of those expelled or suspended had liberation war credentials or were sympathetic to former freedom fighters.
He urged the ZANU-PF Central Committee, scheduled to convene soon, to embrace and institutionalise the idea of the war veterans’ league as a fourth wing of the revolutionary party.
“The vanguard role of the war veterans, war collaborators, and detainees should be reinstated and upheld,” Matemadanda said. Matemadanda expressed concern over the influence of the G40 faction within ZANU-PF over President Robert Mugabe.
He alleged that some of the members of the G40, like Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Jonathan Moyo, were known CIA agents bent on destroying the party from within.
Professor Moyo has, however, denied being a CIA agent.
Matemadanda said all political parties were free to exercise their rights and the army was there to ensure peace and stability.
ZANU-PF youths, Matemadanda said, should know that they were not an extension of government and must desist from denigrating the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
The war veterans’ leader urged the people to desist from peddling falsehoods on social media which have the effect of causing unnecessary panic in the country.
The ZNLWA is a national representative body of ex-guerrilla fighters of the country’s liberation struggle which comprised of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), which was the armed wing of ZANU, and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), the armed wing of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union).
The majority of ZNLWA members, including its chairman Chris Mutsvangwa, secretary general Matemadanda and spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, were expelled from ZANU-PF for various misdemeanours, among them backing then vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa to cover the country’s presidency from Mugabe. The war veterans’ body was at odds with members of the G40 mainly made up of young politicians with little allegiance to the liberation struggle.